February 5, 2018

2-5-18 Newsletter



This Week’s Headlines

“San Jose could be this year’s most insane housing market”—San Francisco Chronicle
The San Jose metro area “seems like it’s blowing up.”

“San Jose metro area home sellers reap the highest ROI in the nation”—SJ Business Journal
The 90.9 percent average return that the metro area’s home sellers got in the fourth quarter of 2017 is the highest in the nation.

“Bay Area home prices continue double-digit gains on historic streak”—Mercury News
Single-family home sale prices in Santa Clara County raced up 35 percent during the last year, reaching $1.17 million in December

“World’s 10 least affordable housing markets include San Jose (least affordable in the US) and SF”—Silicon Valley Beat
Way to go, San Jose! You’re the least affordable city in the USA and the fifth least affordable city in the world.

Housing in 2018: San Jose neighborhoods top the nation’s ‘hottest’ list—Mercury News
More bad news for people house-hunting in the Bay Area: Of the 10 hottest neighborhoods in the country this year, according to the real estate website Redfin, nine are in the San Jose metro area.

Bay Area Housing to Get Even Pricier in 2018—Builder Magazine
The San Jose region — which includes Silicon Valley towns such as Palo Alto and Cupertino — saw the median home value soar 21 percent last year to $1.17 million, while inventory dropped 41 percent to “crisis levels,” according to Zillow.

Cupertino mayor says housing shortage isn’t ‘dire.’ Local activists disagree—Mercury News
“It’s not at a point where anyone can justifiably say that we’re at a critical level where drastic measures must be taken.  The circumstances are not dire” — Cupertino Mayor Darcy Paul



Affordable Housing Week is only three months away and we want to make sure it is on your calendar.  We are also accepting sponsorships!  Check out this update  to find out more!

San Jose residents gather to provide input about the development of a 27-acre parcel adjacent to and owned by Evergreen Community College.  The good news– housing was included on the list of amenities they want to see!!  The bad news– the City of San Jose Planning Department staff reminded the residents that the property is not zoned for housing.  We can change that– #ItsTime4Yes!!

Regional partners meet in Oakland on Saturday to talk up housing at the League of Women Voters Bay Area Inter-League regional summit– Winds of Change: Regional Government– Intersections and Interconnection.  Pictured here: Ken Kirkey from MTC/ABAG, Leslye Corsiglia from SV@Home, Allison Brooks from the Bay Area Regional Collaborative, Derecka Mehrens from Working Partnerships USA, and Egon Terplin from SPUR.  Not pictured: Pedro Galvan from NPH and Matt Regan from the Bay Area Council.

Newly seated President of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, Joe Simitian spoke to a room full of community members and elected leaders yesterday when he gave his State of the County Address. Housing was identified as a key priority. “We can’t call this County a place of opportunity if there is no space, no place, for those who want to be our neighbors.

Policy Updates

State HCD Releases Maps for Implementation of Senate Bill 35

Included in the package of 15 bills signed by the Governor last fall was Senate Bill 35.  Known as the “streamlining bill,” SB 35 requires that cities that are not meeting their Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) goals be subject to streamlining until the goals are met.  Streamlining applies if developments include affordable housing, pay prevailing wages, and “meet all objective affordability, density, zoning, historic, and environmental standards outlined in the bill.”

Last week, the State Department of Housing and Community Development issued maps that show the local jurisdictions subject to SB 35.  See the Bay Area map here.  Of the 485 cities in the State, HCD’s report identified 378 cities that are subject to streamlining for projects that include at least 10% of the units as affordable to households making 80% of Area Median Income and below and 148 cities that are subject to streamlining for projects that include 50% of the units as affordable.  (In Santa Clara County, 80% AMI is $90,640 for a family of four.)  All 15 cities in Santa Clara County are required to streamline affordable housing development.

SV@Home Files Comments on Stanford General Use Permit

On Friday, SV@Home submitted comments  on the Stanford University 2018 General Use Permit Draft Environmental Impact Report by the comment deadline.  Stanford is proposing adding 2.3 million feet of new academic facilities, which they estimate will result in an increase of 7,509 new students and employees.  This expansion, should the Board of Supervisors approve the application, would include 550 homes for faculty and employees, 1,700 beds for undergraduates, and 900 beds for graduate students.

The units and beds proposed would not come close to housing the anticipated growth from new students and employees, putting pressure on surrounding communities like Palo Alto and Menlo Park.  Every time a development produces more jobs than homes it adds to our region’s jobs/housing imbalance.  SV@Home believes that the mix of housing and fees proposed to mitigate this impact is insufficient and is working with Stanford, the County, and the City of Palo Alto to address.

Comments will be considered as the County’s OPD prepares the Final EIR by this summer before returning to the Board of Supervisors for approval.  We will keep you abreast of future developments.

Read SV@Home’s comment letter here.

Diridon Station Area Advisory Group Named

At last Tuesday’s meeting, the San Jose City Council finalized its Station Area Advisory Group (SAAG) as part of the community engagement for the proposed Google development and Diridon Station area.  SV@HOME will serve along with 38 other organizations including representatives of the business community, labor, local neighborhood associations, homeowner groups, public agencies, school districts and community advocates.  The group was put together by San Jose City Administration from a long list of organizations that had expressed interest in participating.

After lengthy public testimony and Council discussion, the Council voted to add a number of additional organizations to the list.  These included: People Acting in Community Together (PACT), the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, the Minority Business Consortium, and a constituent of District 3 representing the perspective of those who are homeless.

According to the administration’s memo to Council, the initial purpose of the SAAG is to provide input to shape the Administration’s recommendations to the City Council, including the principles and terms of a future Memorandum of Understanding between the City and Google and feedback on the Google development concepts. The SAAG is expected to meet every three weeks, and is expected to discuss planning decisions in the broader Diridon Station area and beyond.

Milpitas City Council Gears Up for Action on Affordable Housing

The Milpitas City Council held a study session on Wednesday, January 31st to explore a range of policy tools that the City could use to drive the creation of more affordable housing.  SV@Home has been engaged with the Council and City staff as they consider policy recommendations for a comprehensive affordable housing ordinance, and has called on the Council to prioritize the following actions:

  • Strengthening the City’s current inclusionary housing policy by requiring that 15 percent of ownership and rental housing developments be set aside for affordable housing, and providing an in-lieu fee option; and

  • Adopting a commercial linkage fee that requires non-residential developments, which generate jobs and drive housing demand, to share the costs of housing their local workforce.  

The Council expressed support for exploring these options, emphasizing a need to take action as quickly as possible, and to prioritize those policy solutions that would have the greatest and most immediate impact.  Highlights included:

  • Mayor Tran and Councilmember Barbadillo strongly supported the recommendation to increase the City’s inclusionary housing requirement to 15 percent, and both also asked staff to explore accessory dwelling units as an additional policy solution.  

  • Vice Mayor Grilli and Councilmember Nuñez both emphasized the importance of keeping all options, including commercial linkage fees, on the table as the City moves forward.  Councilmember Nuñez also noted the possibility of building affordable housing on the VTA joint development site in Milpitas.  

The Council asked staff to return with additional information on these and a few other policy options for further consideration, with a goal of getting a new ordinance in place within 180 days.  Staff expects that a draft ordinance can be brought to first to the Planning Commission and then Council in March or April.  SV@Home will continue to stay deeply engaged, so stay tuned for further updates!  And special thanks to our friends at the Sunnyhills Neighborhood Association for joining us at the study session and speaking out for affordable housing!

SV@Home member Steve Levy voices his support for moving forward with the proposed Housing Workplan.

Palo Alto Leaders Discuss Draft Housing Work Plan

Last night, the Palo Alto City Council continued a conversation around a two-year effort to create new housing opportunities, considering a Draft Housing Work Plan that could significantly increase the City’s stock of affordable homes and housing overall, including ADUs and workforce housing. The Council is expected to consider options to encourage the development of transit-oriented, mixed-use, and mixed-income neighborhoods that include a diversity of housing types, creation of an Affordable Housing Overlay Zone, strengthened inclusionary housing requirements, and ways to leverage the City’s affordable housing funds and publicly-owned land for affordable housing.

SV@Home was on hand to commend and support the City of Palo Alto for taking steps to ramp up housing affordability in their City. In remarks accompanying his motion to approve the Housing Work Plan, Councilmember Adrian Fine commented that it was “time to stop studying the issue and do something.” Due to time constraints around the agenda for last night’s meeting, the council moved to continue deliberations to next Monday, February 12th.

View the staff report and the Draft Housing Work Plan.

Vallco Specific Plan Process Kicks Off in Cupertino

Last night, the City of Cupertino and Opticos Design, held a kick-off meeting for the Vallco Area Specific Plan with about 200 stakeholders in attendance. In opening remarks, Mayor Paul tempered his comments at last week’s State of the City address dismissing the housing crisis in Cupertino, stating that “affordable housing is critically needed in our area.” 

Dubbed as a “visioning workshop,” key community feedback centered around the following issues – affordable housing, retail, public spaces, transit and walkability, and parks and open space. The kick-off meeting was the first step in the community driven process envisioned by the City and Opticos; for a full list of events related to the planning process, click here.

Sunnyvale City Council Initiates General Plan Amendment Study for Moffett Park Specific Plan Area

Following the news last December about Google’s plans to build a new 1.04 million square foot office complex in Moffett Park, the company has applied to initiate a General Plan amendment for the Moffett Park Specific Plan Area.  Yesterday evening, the Council voted to initiate a General Plan/Specific Plan amendment study for the Moffett Park Specific Plan Area.  Google is seeking the opportunity to explore the potential for residential uses in Moffett Park, which, as their letter points out, would ease the pressures of affordability and a jobs housing imbalance.  Their vision is to create complete, mixed-use neighborhoods that prioritize “ecology, community, and placemaking,” and as stated by a Google spokesperson, build a community that is “not just for Google employees, but a neighborhood for many,” by creating housing options for people across the income spectrum.  View the meeting agenda and staff report here.

As SV@Home shared with Council, while this is just step one, we encourage the City to prioritize the study of plan features that support the creation affordable housing for low and moderate income households in Moffett Park.  Several Councilmembers spoke to the importance of addressing the needs of community members, including small business owners and families who are struggling to afford living in the area, as part of the study.  We thank the Council for taking the initial step toward expanding housing options in Moffett Park and look forward to next steps in the process.

Public Meetings

Mountain View City Council: Progress Report on Council Goals & BMR Program Changes

Tuesday, February 13 at 5:00 pm
5:00 pm – Study Session: Mid Cycle Review of Council Goals
6:30 pm – Regular Meeting
Mountain View City Hall – Council Chambers
500 Castro Street, Mountain View

Two important items are coming to the Mountain View City Council on February 13.  First, at a 5:00 pm study session, the Council will hear an update on the efforts to achieve the two-year goals that it set in at the beginning of FY 2017.  While all four of the Council’s four goals all relate back to affordable housing, the Council’s primary housing goal is to “Improve the Quantity, Diversity and Affordability of Housing with an Added Focus on Middle-Income and Ownership Opportunities.”  As part of this advancing this goal, SV@Home supports the creation of new housing for individuals and families across the income spectrum in the City’s Precise Plan areas, including the Downtown and North Bayshore.  Let’s make sure the Council moves forward — come out to this session to share your input on how the City can go about implementing these Precise Plans to further its housing goals in the next year! #ItsTimeForYes

Second, as a follow up from a November study session, the Council will consider several potential changes to citywide inclusionary housing requirements. Currently, the City requires new ownership housing developments to set aside 10 percent of their units for moderate income households.  In November, the Council expressed support for increasing this requirement to 15 percent, and furthermore, extend its applicability to rental housing developments.  Join SV@Home at this meeting to support the Council’s efforts to strengthen its BMR Affordable Housing Program and continue pushing for #HousingForAll in Mountain View!

San Jose: Small Inclusionary Housing Ordinance Developer Meeting

Friday, February 16, 2018 from 9 to 10am
San Jose City Hall, Wing Rooms 120
200 E Santa Clara Street, San Jose

The Housing Department is hosting an outreach meeting to discuss the policy issues surrounding a potential Inclusionary Housing Ordinance that would apply to residential developments with 19 units or less.  Some policy considerations are:

  • Should the in-lieu fee be set based on square footage or by affordable unit(s)?

  • Should it apply to new developments or also additional/modified residential unit(s)?

  • Should there be a range of fees depending on the size and location of the property?

Please RSVP to Delilah Chavez at: delilah.chavez@sanjoseca.gov, or call at 408-975-4431.  If you are unable to attend the meeting, contact Delilah who can schedule a meeting with the Inclusionary team. Email Tina Vo at tina.vo@sanjoseca.gov, or call at 408-975-4416, if you have questions.

To learn more about San José’s existing Inclusionary Housing Ordinance, see the City’s website.

Mountain View City Council: East Whisman Precise Plan Study Session

Tuesday, February 27 at 6:30 pm
Mountain View City Hall – Council Chambers
500 Castro Street, Mountain View

With the North Bayshore Precise Plan finally adopted, the City of Mountain View is focusing efforts on its next Precise Plan Area, East Whisman, a 368-acre area bordered by the NASA Ames/Moffett Field to the north and Sunnyvale city limits to the east, is another key opportunity area to create greater affordability by growing the City of Mountain View’s housing supply, addressing the region’s jobs-housing imbalance, and encouraging greater diversity in housing types.  We’ll be tracking the planning process as it moves forward and hope you’ll join us!

Partner Events

MTC Planning Innovations Forum: How Objective is “Objective”? Effective Development Standards in the SB35 and Housing Accountability Act Era

Tuesday, February 13, 2018 from 9:30 am to 12:00 pm
Bay Area Metro Center, 375 Beale Street, San Francisco – Yerba Buena Room (ground floor)
Register here

Hosted by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission/Association of Bay Area Governments

MTC/ABAG regional planning staff are pleased to invite you to the next Planning Innovations forum – How Objective is “Objective”? Effective Development Standards in the SB35 and Housing Accountability Act Era. This interactive session will be led by an experienced panel investigating the implications of the Housing Accountability Act, SB35, and other key housing legislation guiding planning, code writing, and project review.  View more information about the event.

District Office Open House: Marc Berman

Thursday, February 22nd from 4 to 6pm
5050 El Camino Real, Suite 117, Los Altos

Bring your ideas, questions, and concerns affecting the community! The district office is located between Distel Circle and Distel Drive. Parking is available in the front, rear, and underground. Not sure if you live in Marc Berman’s district? You can check here: http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/

Housing California Conference 2018

March 7-9th
Sacramento Convention Center
Register Here

Get Ready for the 2018 Annual Conference! To build on the momentum of the hottest housing legislative session and successes in California’s history, Housing California announces the 39th Annual Conference focused on the MOVEment. Scheduled for March 7‐9, 2018, this event brings together more than 1,400 leaders to learn from successes and move collectively toward new ways of thinking, doing business and achieving results.  Conference Questions?  Email Donna Bisbiglia at dbisbiglia@housingca.org or call 916.287.9890.

Housing Trust Silicon Valley: Investor Briefing 2018

March 23 from 10:30am to 1:00pm
Santa Clara Convention Center
5001 Great America Parkway, Santa Clara
Register here

Investor Briefing is Housing Trust Silicon Valley’s annual luncheon event which brings together about 500 attendees from across the housing and real estate industry, local and state government officials and the business community to reflect on recent accomplishments and challenges in the affordable housing landscape. It is also a place to make new plans for impact and network with old and new friends.

Urban Land Institute: Housing the Bay Summit

March 23 from 8am to 5pm
Hotel Nikko
222 Mason Street, San Francisco

Since early 2017, ULI SF has been working on its Housing the Bay initiative with industry leaders and partner organizations from around the Bay Area. Through working groups, convenings, and interactive educational programs, ULI has been bringing the brightest minds together to foster solutions to our region’s housing crisis.

On March 23rd, Summit panels and presentations will focus on innovative solutions in the realms of financing, construction costs, policy, and the public process. Speakers from around North America will engage in conversations on lessons learned, successful case studies, and best practices with local Bay Area leaders.  SV@Home is a co-sponsor of the Housing the Bay Summit. See ULI’s site for session details

Sessions include:

  • Developing Housing for the “Missing Middle” – New Financing Tools and Strategies
  • Can Impact Fees and Housing Live in Harmony?
  • Lightning Talks: Breaking through the Housing Deadlock
  • The Way Forward for Housing

New Members

New Members

Thank you and welcome to our newest 2018 members, Marjorie Gammill, Rachel Colton, Pilar Lorenzana, Stephen Levy, City of Campbell Mayor Liz Gibbons, Shiloh Ballard, William Fleishhacker, Vince Rocha, BBI Construction, League of Women Voters Santa Clara County, Santa Clara County Housing Authority, California Housing Partnership, Sand Hill Property Company, Affirmed Housing, Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, and Pyatok architecture + urban design.

Contact Us

350 W Julian St. #5
San Jose, California 95110

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